In a tumultuous year so far for WhatsApp, the murky waters are beginning to clear for the troubled messaging platform, which has faced a diminishing userbase, as thousands have fled to our 8 best WhatsApp alternatives amid data-sharing concerns being levied against the app.
In the meantime, WhatsApp has been hard at work to shore up the app's defenses; now, the latest reported development is the long-awaited introduction of password-protected encrypted iCloud backups.
WhatsApp offers existing end-to-end encryption on video, audio, and chat messages; however, this end-to-end encryption stops short of iCloud backups, which has rankled the security-conscious community who see it as a major flaw in the app’s overall security.
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According to WABetaInfo's tweet (opens in new tab), the extension of end-to-end encryption to chat back-ups would enable users to encrypt and vacuum seal their entire WhatsApp chat history before uploading it to iCloud Drive.
WhatsApp has suggested that prior complaints will be nullified by the feature, keeping the password safe, and never transferred to the central server; as such, your chat logs and media should be safe from the prying eyes of ne’er-do-wells, or, if you're more paranoid about Big Tech, WhatsApp's parent company, Facebook.
The app’s new security feature would be a welcome addition to use on our best Android phones, best iPhone, or even machines from our best laptop list with news of WhatsApp dialing up its desktop offering with added voice-calling functionality to stay in touch with friends, the use of biometric authentication to bolster security on the desktop client, even self-destructing photos to give peace of mind when sending more sensitive media.
As WhatsApp looks to double down on its security and privacy efforts, it'll likely only bring benefits to its userbase, perhaps suggesting that the privacy ruckus was a much-needed wake-up call for the tech giant.
Source: The Verge (opens in new tab)